The Keeper of the iBook


By Mark Newhouse, <>
July 25, 2001

The recent whining and complaining that happened on the Mac forums after last week's Keynote was more than a bit disturbing. Pre-expo rumor hype notwithstanding, it seems that certain members of the Mac faithful take these things just a bit too personally.

They don't owe you nothing...

We need to remember that Apple Computer, Inc. is, first and foremost, a company. They owe nobody anything. They only answer to their board of directors, who answer to the shareholders. As such, this company exists for one reason - to make a profit. This makes the shareholders happy, and, in turn, the board is happy.

So Apple is going to do what is best for Apple. Fortunately that usually makes us, the Mac faithful happy, too. But when it doesn't, we have no right to complain.

Some cheese with that?

But we will whine about anything. I remember people complaining after a Keynote where the product line had received a significant speed bump. They felt ripped off because they had recently purchased the same computer, but slower and for more money.

I already addressed that issue in the article No Regrets.

So now I'll address the other side of the coin - when Steve doesn't come through with the rumored flat panel iMac, or radically new form for the G4 tower, or a web pad, or a PDA or...

Get a life!

If Apple is at all to blame here, it is in their promotion of a digital lifestyle. I'll be the first to admit that I am drawn to the idea like a moth to a flame. And that is an apt description. Like a moth will be destroyed in the flame, we can let the digital lifestyle ruin our lives, if we aren't careful.

Our lives should not revolve around things, whether they are cars, money (and it's pursuit), clothes, or silicon. This is why I do not own a cell phone, a PDA, a pager or an mp3 player. Heck, I don't even own a portable CD player.

Would I like to have these things? Some of them, yes. But I already spend too much time with my G3 tower, or the Grape iMac, or the Revision a Tangerine iBook I am typing this on (on the bus, no less - I can't get away!). And then there is the digital camcorder, and the wireless network to play with at the house. I don't need more digital dreck to muck up my life.

Ask my wife and kids if you don't believe me.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things, or even spending time with any of them. We just don't need to let them become the hub of our life(style). That's why I cringe every time I hear Jobs mention it.

But even Jobs recognizes the importance of relationships and family, admitting to keeping too many of his employees away from their families for too long in his last keynote.

So maybe there's hope.

PS - thanks Beto for getting me thinking about this whole idea!

Mark Newhouse is the Web Designer for the public outreach arm of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories in Tucson, AZ, where he hopes the scale is tipped toward the important people in his life over the digital stuff...

The iBook icon is courtesy the Iconfactory.

Keeper of the iBook Copyright © 2001, Mark Newhouse, all rights reserved

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